Germany's veteran striker Miroslav Klose has said he will be "100 per cent" ready for next month's FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, where he aims to break the tournament's goal record.
With 14 goals at three previous World Cup finals, the 35-year-old Klose is just one short of Brazil striker Ronaldo's record of 15 for the all-time goalscorer. As one of only two strikers in the squad, the veteran says he will be ready when Germany open their Group G campaign against Portugal in Salvador on 16 June after being blighted by injury at his Italian club Lazio from the end of March until the start of May.
"I assume I will be 100 per cent ready for the tournament," the ex-Bayern and Werder Bremen star said from the German team's training camp in north Italy on Friday. "I feel good and I'm on the right path. The fitness coaches know me very well and they know exactly what I need, so everything is moving in the right direction."
Klose said his priority is to the team, rather than claiming goal records.
"For me, the main thing is to be fit and the most important thing is the team," he said. "I am convinced that when the team plays well, then the striker will also get his chances. But anyone who knows me is aware that the goal record is a target of mine."
I am convinced that when the team plays well, then the striker will also get his chances.
Germany play the USA and Ghana in their other Group G matches. There was bad news from the German camp on Friday as defensive midfielder Lars Bender, 25, was ruled out of Brazil 2014 with a thigh injury.
"We all know what a good footballer Lars is and he played a good season," Klose said. "You need good players like that and I am really sorry for him that he is now injured."
While Klose has always played as a striker, but says he can just as easily slot into the attacking midfield if needed.
"Basically, I can play the 'False Nine', but regardless of who has experience, at the end of the day the coach makes the decision," Klose said.
"I just want to train so that the World Cup doesn't pass me by."